10th December 2019


“You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’”
Isaiah 40:9 (NIV)

Have you ever thought about the Bible? And, if you have blown the dust off your copy and opened it to Matthew chapter one, were you confused by the long list of names of people you had never heard of? If you actually lingered long enough to read the first verse, surprise, surprise, you discover that it is all about the lineage of Jesus. Matthew writes: “This is the record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham!”

Here Matthew takes the time to introduce Messiah to the Jews—and why in this peculiar way? Because one of the most important part of any Jew’s life is wrapped up in who he is; his history, his lineage. These special lists of their ancestors were like a drum roll, or a fanfare of trumpets. Any first-century Jew would find this family tree of Jesus very impressive and compelling! And why? Because some of the names included in it were very special to Jewish people, like Abraham, David, and Solomon and of course not everyone could include these notables amongst their ancestors. But Matthew is introducing them to their Messiah whom they had longed for all their lives. He’s telling them that this individual is the One they’ve been expecting; he is the fulfilment of two millennia of God’s promises and purposes; they are wrapped up in his life! His message is: ‘He has arrived, look at his ancestry!’

It’s interesting to note also, that he gives some additional information in verse 17 about that period of time: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; and from the Babylonian deportation to the Messiah, fourteen generations” (Amplified). What an introduction, what a great way to tell the people of Judah who he is, and to inform them that now your waiting has ended! Matthew cries out, ‘Hey look Judah, here is your God!’

Then, he moves swiftly on to give them the story of Messiah’s birth. Notice verse 18 (Phillips): “The birth of Jesus Christ happened like this.” So, if you are one of the ones who have decided to read Matthew, especially at this special time of year when Jesus’ birth is celebrated by many nations, how does this sound to you?

Father, gifts are very special, so thank you for this amazing present of your dear Son, Jesus, that you have given to all humanity as Messiah, the one who leads us into your presence, holy and blameless, as children.

Study by Cliff Neill

About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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